Angels Bullpen Blows Another Lead

The Yankees are starting to turn things around — and doing at the expense of the Angels and their bullpen.

The thrilling nature of Friday's 10-9 victory against the Los Angeles Angels could propel New York to even bigger things.

"Hopefully, we can learn a lot from it," Jorge Posada said after his two-run, ninth-inning single off Brian Fuentes capped a comeback from a five-run deficit.

New York took a 4-0 lead in the first inning as Posada hit a two-run homer — the record-tying 29th at the new Yankee Stadium. But Andy Pettitte couldn't hold it, and the Angels scored six runs in the sixth inning and three more in the seventh.

Melky Cabrera's RBI single, Ramiro Pena's two-run single and Derek Jeter's RBI grounder off Jose Arredondo cut the deficit to 9-8 in the eighth. Then in the ninth, Fuentes (0-2) walked slumping Mark Teixeira on a 3-2 pitch leading off, and Hideki Matsui and Robinson Cano singled to load the bases with no outs.

Posada got ahead 2-0 in the count, then singled to left-center on a 3-2 pitch. New York won for the sixth time in seven games at Yankee Stadium since losing the opener and stretched its winning streak to a season-high four overall.

"We're certainly sorting through some stuff here in the early going," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "We're just obviously not getting it done right now. We need guys to get the job done and too many of them are having trouble doing that right now."

His bullpen is 1-8 with a major league-worst 7.69 ERA, a big reason the Angels are 9-13.

"I don't think I've seen anything like it, when everyone struggles at the same time," said Fuentes, who fell behind all four batters he faced and blew a save for the second time in seven chances. "Nobody's really happy down there with the way we're throwing the ball. Right now, I just need to get myself right. I need to throw more strikes, get ahead of guys, throw my secondary pitches.

Jonathan Albaladejo (2-1) pitched a perfect ninth for the win.

Gary Matthews Jr. hit a three-run triple on rookie Mark Melancon's first pitch ever at Yankee Stadium for a 5-4 lead, scored on a wild pitch and drove in four runs for the Angels.

Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher bruised his right elbow when he was hit by a pitch in the first inning and left after two. X-rays were negative. The Angels' Bobby Abreu left after 6¬Ω innings because of a tight lower back.

Both may miss Saturday.

Just 15 of 50 cushioned first-row seats between the dugouts costing $2,500 as part of season tickets and $2,625 individually were occupied when Chone Figgins bunted Pettitte's first pitch.

Jered Weaver allowed four runs and four hits in six innings, and Pettitte gave up five runs, nine hits and four walks in 5 2-3 innings.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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